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24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
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Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

Menu Logo Principal AgroParisTech université Paris-Saclay

Welcome to ECOSYS

UMR ECOSYS - Ecologie fonctionnelle et écotoxicologie des agroécosystèmes

Offre de postdoc CLAND


The French convergence institute CLand, and its partners of the Université Paris-Saclay (UPSaclay), AgroParisTech, and the French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAe), are looking for a motivated candidate to conduct a two year PostDoc project on an exciting topic with strong implications for climate change mitigation and adaptation: the potential expansion of new crops and their impact on freshwater resources in Europe over the 21st century.


European agriculture will face some important challenges and changes in the coming decades. Ongoing climate change leads to decreasing precipitation in the Southern part of Europe, with increased frequency of drought events and dwindling water resources that further limit the possibility of irrigation, while in the Eastern half of Europe precipitation is projected to even increase over the 21st century. At the same time, rising temperatures increase the length of growing period in many parts of Europe, pushing the climatological limits for certain crop types northward, where water is less limited.

The European agriculture has to adapt to these changes through a revised choice of crops and irrigation practices. Over the last decades, we could already witness the (re-)introduction of Sorghum as drought-resistant staple crop, the cultivated area of which expanded from 60 to

>200 tsd. ha in the EU over 2000 to 2020 (Eurostat). Similarly, pistachios as drought resistant plants are now cultivated in parts of Spain and Italy, where water shortage has made cultivation of other crops difficult. Note however that both crops still need irrigation, for instance under the dry summers of Spain. At the same time, the warming climate, a high demand and certain profitability have led to the introduction and expansion of exotic crops to Southern Europe, such as avocados and kiwis. In particular avocados that originate from the humid tropics of Central America, and which are increasingly cultivated in Spain, have high irrigation demands, which is of concern with regard to the limited renewable freshwater resources on the Iberian Peninsula. Also Kiwis, for which Italy has become the world second largest producer, have a high water demand and are usually irrigated.


The main objective of the research project is to assess potential impacts of an expansion of species of growing interest in Europe (such as sorghum, pistachios, avocado, kiwi, and mango) on agricultural water use and its sustainability in Europe. For this, the PostDoctoral researcher will first identify key annual or permanent crop species showing growing interests in Europe based on an analysis of trends in growing areas and consumer demands. Second, he or she will identify the areas in Europe that appear to be the most suitable from a pedoclimatic point of

view for the expansion of these crops, using the most appropriate datasets and modelling tools available. This suitability analysis will be performed considering present, nearer (2030, 2050) and more distant (2070, 2100) future climate conditions, following intermediate and no- mitigation climate scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5). Then, in a third step, the irrigation demand will be simulated using data-driven water balance models implemented at the European scale considering various scenarios of crop substitution. Finally, the simulated irrigation demand will be compared against present day estimates and future projections of renewable freshwater resources, to identify where and in how far irrigated cultivation of these selected crops would be possible and quantify the consequences of a substitution of existing crops by new ones. For this last stage, we collaborate with colleagues from the Goethe-University in Frankfurt (Germany) who have a longstanding expertise in regional to global scale modelling of the availability and consumption of renewable freshwater resources.

Profile of the applicant

-          PhD in a field related to the research subject (agronomy, environmental science)

-          Robust background in numerical methods

-          Experience in coding in R, Python or Matlab

-          Good English skills, both in written and spoken language


Academic supervision:

Main supervisor: Ronny Lauerwald. UPSaclay, AgroParisTech-INRAe, UMR ECOSYS Co-supervisor: Nicolas Guilpart, AgroParisTech, Départment SIAFEE

Other supervisors:


David Makowski, UPSaclay, AgroParisTech-INRAe, UMR MIA Philippe Ciais, UPSaclay, CEA, UMR LSCE

Work location:

The work location will be at UMR ECOSYS located at AgroParisTech in Thiverval-Grignon (France). Please note that the lab will move to the new campus of UPSaclay near Palaiseau (France) in October ‘22.

Starting date: Spring 2022 (here we are relatively flexible)

How to apply:

Applicants should submit a complete application package by email to The selection process will start end of February, but we will accept applications until the position is filled. The application package should include (1) a curriculum vitae, (2) statement of motivation, (3) PDF of PhD thesis, (4) names, affiliations, phone numbers, and email addresses of at least two references.